Marshall magic guides Spartans to SWPL opening day win

02O2A8939A sensational strike by Alana Marshall and a first for the Club from Mariel Kaney saw Suzy Shepherd’s Spartans kick off their SWPL 1 with a hard fought 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Ainslie Park.


The early stages of the match were akin to a game of chess as both sides took time to suss out their opponents in the opening game of the SWPL 1 season.

Spartans were awarded a 12th minute free-kick inside the Aberdeen half which Louise Mason shaped up to take.  Instead of launching the set piece into the box, she nudged it to the path of Alana Marshall who unleashed a strike that already will be a contender for goal of the season.  Her shot from fully 25 yards flew high into the net, leaving Rebecca Flaherty no chance.


That lead was to double in the 26th minute when Mariel Kaney scrambled the ball over the line at the far post after a goalmouth melee following an Alana Marshall corner.


Aberdeen responded well and with 10 minutes before the break, the pulled a goal back courtesy of Shannon McGregor who latched onto a breakdown in the home defence.


The Reds bench saw red just before half time when they were aggrieved at an offside call than denied them what they felt was a justified equaliser.  The Referee inviting the visiting officials to accept the decision and move on.


Half Time: Spartans 2-1 Aberdeen


Dion McMahon replaced Danni Pagliarulo ahead of a second half that failed to offer any further goals.


The midfield battle that ensued saw both sides play some intelligent football at times however the end product to test the keepers remained somewhat elusive.

Ashley Fish entered the fray with 65 minutes gone, taking over from Laura Gavin as Shepherd looked to freshen things up front.


Fish was industrious during her spell on the park, tracking down the Dons defence, looking to force an error that could have put further light between the sides.


Spartans final substitution came with twelve minutes to go as Bobbie Beveridge came on for Louise Mason.


Alana Marshall almost doubled her tally for the afternoon when her 84th minute in-swinging corner hit the crossbar whilst Beveridge’s skilful solo injury time effort saw the finished product narrowly drift wide.


Final Score: Spartans 2-1 Aberdeen